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When it comes to SAT Critical Reading practice, it can be hard to know how best to use your time and prioritize your objectives.
Here are some guidelines that I’ve established for SAT Critical Reading practice, for myself and my students.
1) Use ONLY the Official SAT Study Guide for SAT Critical Reading practice passages and questions.
Nothing else is like the real thing. Make sure you have your own copy, and plan on doing a bunch of practice sections over the course of several months.
2) Time yourself.
You need to know exactly what a 25 minute section feels like, and figure out if you need to speed up or slow down. Full-length, timed sections are among the best SAT Critical Reading practice exercises you can do. Read about how to finish the SAT Critical Reading section on time.
3) Check your answers against the book.
After you do an SAT Critical Reading practice session, you need to check your answers. You can find the correct answers on a page at the end of each test in the Blue Book. Circle the questions you got wrong and mark the answer given by the book.
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4) Figure out why your incorrect answers were not their answer.
This is often because of one word in your answer that doesn’t quite fit, because you misunderstood the reading, or because you missed an important clue in the passage. This is probably the single best SAT Critical Reading practice you can do.
5a) Worry more about the reading than the vocabulary…
especially if you don’t have much time before the test to spend on SAT Critical Reading practice. There are far more points to be earned in the reading questions than among the tough vocab questions. Focus on getting the main points – learn some SAT Critical Reading Comprehension Strategies.
5b) on the other hand, commit to SAT vocabulary study if you have the time.
If you have enough time in the longer-term, like 2 months or more to do SAT prep, then you absolutely should set aside some time to practice SAT vocabulary.
Bottom-line, here’s the best long-term SAT Critical Reading practice:
A) Practice sections and full tests in the Blue Book.
Check out the SAT Reading Mastery Video Course!
Conquer SAT Vocabulary Video Course